Vets perform rare blood transfusion to save tiger

Indian vets have carried out a rare blood transfusion on a seven-month-old tiger in a desperate effort to save the animal's life after it was attacked by angry villagers.

The female tiger - still technically a cub - was provided with blood from two adult tigers being held in captivity after she and her sister were rescued by wildlife officials after being beaten by the villagers in Maharashtra, in central India. As is often the case in this country, the villagers were fearful that the two animals were poised to attack children and cattle.



"The cubs were in bad shape at the time they were rescued. They were starving," said Bimal Majumdar, the chief wildlife officer in the region. "The villagers had also beaten them with sticks so they were injured as well."



The cub that required the transfusion - named Juhi after a fragrant white flower that is native to India - was yesterday said to be in a serious condition in a zoo in the city of Nagpu. Juhi and her sister, Jai, were rescued two weeks ago after they were apparently abandoned by their mother and then attacked.



At Nagpur, Juhi underwent what is believed to be the first such blood transfusion of its type. Increasingly concerned about her condition and her falling haemoglobin levels, officials sent a request to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai, where doctors tranquilised two adult tigers and drew three-fourths of a pint of blood from each of them.



"The blood grouping procedure is critical, but in India there has been no work done on blood groups," Vinery Jangle, the park’s head veterinarian, told the Associated Press. "There are no studies on blood types and wild tigers."



At the beginning of the 20th century, India’s tiger population was estimated to be as large as 100,000. But last year The Independent revealed how Indian officials had been informed that the numbers had fallen to as low as 1,300 animals. For a nation that is home to perhaps 80 per cent of the world’s wild tigers, the revelation was staggering and the government undertook to take more steps to preserve the animal and its habitat.



But India’s growing population and the spread of urban areas is increasingly putting humans into contact with tigers. As a result, many villagers see tigers as a deadly menace rather than something to be preserved and treasured.



At the same time, large numbers of tigers fall victim to poachers providing the East and South-East Asian trade in rare animals parts and furs. For all its promises, the Indian government has yet to effectively address the issue of poachers. There are also other challenges the tigers of South Asia; in the Sunderbans - the delta region of India and Bangladesh - rising sea levels is destroying tiger habitat and placing them in increased contact with humans.



The rarity of the animals explains the efforts that officials were prepared to take to try and save Juhi. Pandurang Munde, director of the wildlife part in Mumbai, said: "We needed to save the young one’s life. If the hemoglobin was low, there was only one remedy - blood transfusion."



Last night, Juhi was being closely monitored. She was attached to a saline drip and CCTV had been installed so that officials could watch her health around the clock. "She is still not in good shape," said Mr Majumdar. "So we have our fingers crossed."



Suggested Topics
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Maths Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...

Maths Teacher

£22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week